25th anniversary of Komen NW Ohio gala celebration

25th anniversary of Komen NW Ohio gala celebration
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Susan G. Komen foundation has gained a lot of support over the years in our area.

The 25th anniversary celebration was celebrated on Saturday night at the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Toledo.

Bob Baxter, President and CEO of Mercy Health was thrilled to continue the working relationship he and his colleagues have shared with the Komen Foundation over the last quarter of a century.

Baxter said, "It's 25 years if historical contributions to women's health, and we're looking forward to the next 25 years."

There were many speakers and survivors on hand, but before the crowd even heard, "Good evening, and welcome," there was applause.

The brand new Renaissance Hotel Ballroom was sold out for folks to eat and dance the night away.

More importantly, they were there to pay tribute to the friends and supporters celebrating Komen Northwest Ohio's 25 years of service. Despite having a packed house, only a small number of the many who have contributed over the years were in attendance.

Chrys Peterson, Honorary Chair of the Race for the Cure since almost its first run in Toledo said, "25 years of having the community's support of raiding 17 million dollars for breast cancer services. 13 million of that money stayed right here in our community, so it is really something to celebrate."

You may be wondering: What benefit does all that fundraising bring?

Mary Westphal, Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Northwest Ohio has all the statistics. Westphal said, "Sadly enough, we've had 236 women diagnosed with breast cancer, and 2 men diagnosed with breast cancer over that time, but those are people who are alive today thanks to a Komen funded gr ant that let them get their mammogram and their treatment."

The other 4 million dollars went directly back to research.

Putting tonight's festivities together was no easy task, but these survivors who are leading the charge say they look forward to what the future brings.

Mary Saddemi is one of those survivors and Co-Chairman of Saturday night's event.

Saddemi said, "The race in September will be next, and hopefully, in five more years, we will have the 30th anniversary."

Christine Spetka is also a breast cancer survivor and happens to be the other Co-Chair of the 25th Anniversary Komen Gala. Spetka said, "It's just incredible to play a part in this. Acknowledging breast cancer, and raising money, we want to thank all the people that came tonight."

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